F1/OPT and 485- Ignorance is not bliss
I get these questions a lot in the H and the 485 forums and I see that many F1, F2 (and OPT) holders are having this misunderstanding about having a F1 or OPT and applying for 485 changes your status scenario marginally. I will list the following observations.
1. Whether you are on F or OPT, as soon as you apply for I485 (from its Receipt date) you are a I485 adjustee.No longer F or OPT.
2. You cannot be on I485 adjustee and F visa or OPT. So apply for EAD(485 based,not OPT) along with 485 and then file I-9 with employer ,if you are on OPT or with school if you are on F1 and diligently renew the 485 based EAD. Also apply for AP, from now onwards you have to use AP for travel.
The primary reason is that a F visa holder should prove non immigration intention every minute. By filing I485 you have violated a fundamental tenet of this requirement. You can go through a dual intent visa like H or L towards GC/I485. Direct F (OPT) to 485 is a land of mines and you have to tread carefully.
Request to the moderator: Could you stick this up please?
IMPORTANT NOTE: I am a Volunteer Moderator - one of you. I am not a lawyer. So act accordingly.